What is Nasal Congestion?

The simplest description of nasal congestion is difficulty breathing through the nose. People describe it as feeling “stuffy”, “tightness” or “pressure”.
 
Some people have never breathed well through their nose so they don't know the true feeling of an open nasal passage. They view their nasal congestion as normal. This group of people usually come in for snoring, blocked ears or what they perceive as allergies.
 
At Texas Sinus and Snoring we apply the full range of diagnostic modalities and latest technology to get to the bottom of your problem. Living with cyclical nasal blockage, seasonal allergies or snoring is not fun. We want to help you “break the cycle and breathe”.
nasal Congestion relief

What causes nasal congestion?

There are two main causes of nasal congestion and obstruction, anatomic and functional.

Anatomic Nasal Obstructions

The most common anatomic obstructions are:

Nasal Congestion - concha Bullosa

  • a bony spur in the septum

nasal congestion - boney spur

  • a mass in the nose or nasopharynx

Functional Nasal Obstructions

When we use the term “functional” obstruction we usually mean swelling of the lining of the nose. Or we're referring to floppiness of the sidewalls of the nose.
 
Swelling of the Nasal Lining
Acute or chronic sinusitis, colds, the flu or environmental allergies can trigger swelling of the nasal lining. No matter what causes the swelling, your airway becomes smaller and smaller as the swelling increases.
 
Sidewall Floppiness
Floppiness of the nasal sidewalls or Nasal Valve Stenosis is a common problem. Sometimes the nasal sidewalls don’t have the strength to remain open when we take a full breath. Think about trying to breathe through a straw made of cloth rather than plastic.
 
Dr. Cilento pioneered methods of determining if Nasal Valve Stenosis is present. He also pioneered the latest ways of fixing simple to complex versions of this common problem.

What are some temporary treatments for nasal congestion relief?

Nasal congestion houston hydrate
houston allergies nasal congestion

Treatments for nasal congestion can vary depending on the cause. However, there are some ways you can help temporarily reduce the pressure you feel in your nose.

Keep Your Nasal Passages Moist

  • Hydrate yourself, especially in Houston. Drinking at least 2-4 quarts of water a day will help keep the mucus thin and functioning maximally.
  • Practice nasal rinses with nasal saline. (View our instructional video here)
  • Use a humidifier
  • Take a warm shower and breathe in the steam
  • Use nasal saline spray

Over The Counter Medicines

  • Decongestants help reduce the swelling in your nasal passages. However, prolonged use can cause blood pressure problems.
  • Antihistamines help if allergies are the culprit behind your nasal congestion. Getting allergies checked and treated is an easy and important way to check and correct allergic causes of nasal congestion. You can have allergy tests done right in our office.
  • Pain relievers help relieve the pain associated with the swelling in your nose

How to get rid of nasal congestion for good?

Your nasal congestion could be a symptom of one or more different problems.
 
For example, swelling from chronic sinusitis, a deviated septum, enlarged turbinates and nasal valve collapse could all be the cause. Fixing one of these things and not the others will not correct the problem. In this case, the answer would be balloon sinuplasty to fix the sinusitis, turbinate reduction, septoplasty and nasal valve reconstruction.

Follow the links below to learn more about any of the procedures that may help with nasal congestion.

What are the effects of prolonged nasal congestion?

Most people prefer to breathe out of their nose. When you can’t breathe normal because your nose feels stuffy and swollen it is irritating. But there are more complications than irritation.

Bad Breath & Tooth Decay

Breathing through the mouth exclusively can cause chronic bad breath known as halitosis. It also causes tooth decay due to hindrance of the natural protection of saliva.

Dizziness & Hearing Loss

Nasal congestion can cause dizziness and interfere with hearing. Your sinuses are all connected so the pressure in your nose, can affect the pressure in your ears. This can cause them to feel muffled as well as cause dizziness.

Sore Throat & Loss of Voice

Its can also affect your throat and voice. Your nose makes more mucus to help clear out your offended and swollen nasal passages. That mucus can start to run down the back of your throat. We call this post nasal drip. It can cause sore throat, cough, hoarseness and even loss of your voice.

Snoring & Sleep Interruption

It can also affect your sleep. When you can’t breathe out of your nose you are forced to breathe out of your mouth. This can cause snoring and can be a big problem for those with sleep apnea. Snoring can also keep your partner awake.

Feeding Issues for Infants

For infants nasal congestion can be a big problem as it can interfere with feeding.

Request An Appointment...

Do you experience nasal congestion? If so, we can help. Please fill out the form below and we'll reach out to you to schedule an appointment.

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